Six Sound Suggestions for Sleeping Soundly
By Dr. Don Rose,
Seem stressed? Sad? Sick? Saggy skin? Suggestion: sleep soundly!
If these words sound familiar, congratulations; you read my first article about sounder sleep, which gave six strong suggestions for achieving better nighttime rest. As you may know by now, a good night’s sleep can help minimize stress, stave off ailments, and get you in a cheerier mood (once you wake, of course). You’ll also look younger, you vain reader you.
Now, in an effort to give even more advice for the sleep-challenged, below are six MORE tips to help you get that deeper, fuller night’s rest.
Review: First Six Suggestions for Sound Sleep Sessions
1. Sound off.
2. Lose lights.
3. No night noshing.
4. Exercise early.
5. No drinks late if they stimulate.
6. Try sleep supplements and similar substances.
Six More Suggestions for Sounder Sleep
7. Read a book before bed, while in bed.
This can be a good strategy to use if you are having trouble getting to sleep. Many people can take only a few pages of dry material before they get sleepy. Warning: avoid exciting, engrossing novels, which may actually have the opposite effect. Note: any reading material, like a magazine, is okay to use instead of a book.
8. Same time to bed, same time to rise.
Get your body used to a regular cycle; go to bed at a certain time and rise at a certain time, day after day, and do your best to stick to it. The resulting rhythm should promote more restful sleep, as your body will be conditioned for it.
9. Take advantage of natural sleep patterns to make waking easier.
There is a cycle we go through during sleep, from near-waking state to deep sleep and back up again. This cycle lasts roughly 90 minutes. So, I always try to set my alarm for a time that is a multiple of 90 minutes since I went to bed. Examples: 3 hours, 4.5 hours, 6 hours, 7.5 hours.
If you set your alarm to wake you either 6 hours after going to bed or 7.5 hours after, you will be in the “nearly awake” part of the sleep cycle when the alarm goes off, making it less of a shock to get up. You should always strive to get at least 6-7 hours of sleep, and some say 8 is optimal. 7.5 hours of sleep is a good compromise, and fits the 90 minute cycle.
If a situation forces you to get less than 6 hours of sleep, you may be best off aiming for the next smallest 90-minute multiple (which is 4.5 hours of sleep).
10. No excess liquids, not even water, before bed.
Unless you are really thirsty or dehydrated, avoid any liquids right before bed. Otherwise, your bladder is likely to wake you up for a bathroom trip in the middle of a good dream. Then, once awake, it may be hard to get back to sleep.
11. Make sure you will stay warm all night.
Temperatures can drop during the night, which can wake some people up. Bring more blankets to bed than you think you need, so they are close by in case you need to pull one over.
12. Arrange your bedroom so the sun hits your bed in the morning.
This will help train your body to get up more easily. The combination of a good alarm plus naturally occurring sun rays should make extra snoozing less likely in the morning.
Now you have 12 solid suggestions for sounder sleep (assuming you read my previous article about sounder sleep, and if you didn’t, what are you waiting for?). By combining one or more of these “Twelve Terrific Tips,” you should be joining the ranks of deep-dreaming dozers in no time. The results attained by getting better sleep will be apparent in several aspects of your life, from your appearance to your mood to your energy levels.
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Dr. Don Rose writes books, papers and articles
on computers, the Internet, AI, science and technology, and issues related to seniors.
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